Isabelle Ioannides

Isabelle Ioannides
Address: Post-Doctoral Researcher
Department of Governance Studies
Faculty of Social Sciences
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Metropolitan Building, De Boelelaan 1081
1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Associate Research Fellow
Institute of European Studies
Free University of Brussels (ULB)
CPI 172, 39 Avenue FD Roosevelt
B-1050 Brussels, Belgium

Expert Consultant, Researcher and Trainer
Peacebuilding, Security and Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Telephone: ++31 (0)20 59 85484


Policy Learning in the European Union on Civilian Crisis Management: The Case of Externally Assisted Police Reform

Over the years, the European Union has asserted itself as a serious political actor to be contemplated with. It is becoming increasingly involved in civilian crisis management, including police reform efforts, as its numerous missions across the globe demonstrate. Its lengthy experience in external action has led to the development of a ‘European approach’ to crisis management and to the realisation of the need “to be more active, more coherent and more capable” (European Security Strategy, 2003:11). EU efforts in police reform in post-conflict societies are illustrative of this need. The European Union through its participation in police reform efforts in other multilateral frameworks and through its own activities in civilian crisis management, humanitarian aid, and democracy promotion has accumulated important experience and numerous ‘lessons learned’ that inform its police reform activities. Accordingly, this study has concentrated on the experience and ‘lessons learned’ obtained through the implementation of police reform operations and programmes in post-conflict ethnically divided societies, also drawing from the literature on EU democracy promotion and EU humanitarian aid in post-conflict societies, to examine whether the EU has informally developed an acquis in the area of police reform. Specifically, this study has aimed to examine how the European Union learns from what it accomplishes in police reform in post-conflict societies, where it fails, and how it can improve its participation in this field. Within this framework, the research has therefore sought to understand what explains the patterns of EU learning and how this learning is linked to the particular character of the EU institutions. It has also aimed to understand whether and how the EU creates a common ‘institutional memory’ on civilian crisis management and police reform to use in future efforts.













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Selected Conference Papers and Lectures

“ESDP @ 10: what lessons for the future?” A high level debate organised jointly by the Swedish Presidency of the European Union, the EU Institute for Security Studies in collaboration with the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, in Brussels, 28 July 2009.

“Contesting the Police Reform Agenda: What Peace Are We Building?” Paper prepared for the panel “Critical Reflections on Statebuilding: Searching for Clarity Where There Is None” of the International Association Studies (ISA) Annual Convention, in New York, New York, 15‐18 February 2009.

“Security Sector Reform in EU External Relations: Assessing the Concept and its Implementation in the Balkans”. Paper prepared for the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention, in San Francisco, California, 25‐29 March 2008.

“The Limits of Learning and Change in International Organisations: Insights from EU Civilian Crisis Management”. Paper presented at the conference titled “Learning and its Application to EU Foreign and Security Policy”. Organised by the Centre for the Study of International Governance at the Royal Overseas League, in London, 16 November 2007.

“Understanding EU Institutional Change in Civilian Crisis Management: Learning from Police Reform Efforts?” Paper prepared for the Research Seminars on International Relations, Peace and Security entitled “‘Institution-building’: Une modalité de gestion des désordres internationaux ?” Organised by the REPI and the ‘Pôle Bernheim d’Etudes sur la Paix et la Citoyenneté’, in Brussels, 14 May 2007.

“‘European Policing’? A Critical Analysis of the EU Crisis Management Efforts in the Western Balkans”. Paper presented at the Association for Nationalism Studies (ASN) Conference entitled “Globalisation, Nationalism and Ethnic Conflicts in the Balkans and Its Regional Context”, Belgrade, 28-30 September 2006.

“Police Reform in Macedonia: Assessing EU Cross-Pillar and International Co-operation”. Paper presented at the Conference entitled “Evaluating EU Crisis Management: Civil and Military Aspects”, organised by the Institute for European Studies, Free University of Brussels and the Bernheim Pole on Peace and Citizenship, in Brussels, 21-22 September 2006.

“‘European Policing’?: A Critical Approach to EU Crisis Management Efforts”. Paper presented at the European Foreign Policy Conference 2006, organised by the London School of Economics and King’s College London, in London, 30 June-1 July 2006.

“Implementing Police Reform in Macedonia: Lessons (Not) Learned on EU Coherence and Effectiveness”. Lecture delivered at the Conference “Dayton in Comparative Perspective”. Course entitled “Divided Societies IX: The Challenge of Institution-Building”, in Dubrovnik, 18-28 April 2006.

“Police Reform in Macedonia: Testing EU Coherence and Effectiveness on the Ground”. Paper presented for the first Workshop of the University Association on Contemporary European Studies (UACES), Specialist Group “European Union Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management”, organised at the London School of Economics, in London, on 2 February 2006.

“‘Democratic Security’ in the Cyprus Police Force”. Paper prepared for the seminar entitled “Democratic Oversight of the Security Sector”, organised by the Council of Europe and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), at the European Youth Centre Strasbourg, in Strasbourg, 9-13 March 2005.

“Implementing the European Security and Defence Policy in Macedonia: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects”. Paper presented at the International Politics and Security Studies Research Group, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, in Bradford, on 6 October 2004.

“Putting EU Crisis Management and Conflict Prevention to the Test: Police Reform in Macedonia and Accountability”. Paper presented at the workshop entitled “The EU’s Role in Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management: A View from an Accountability Perspective”, Institute of Studies in Conflicts and Humanitarian Action (IECAH), Madrid, 12-13 December 2003.

“The EU Enlargement Process: a Catalyst for a Solution to the Cyprus Problem?” Paper presented at the “Democratic Leadership Programme Forum”, in Ohrid, Macedonia, 18-24 November 2002.

“The European Rapid Reaction Force: Understanding the Implications for Democratic Accountability and Transparency”. Paper presented at the workshop entitled “Arms Control, Procurement and Transfers in Europe: Aspects of Accountability, Transparency and Legitimacy”, organised by the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC) and the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), in Bonn, 21-23 June 2002.